California Proposition 12, Bonds for Water, Forests and Open Space (2000)

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California Proposition 12 was on the March 7, 2000 ballot in California as a legislatively-referred bond act, where it was approved.

Proposition 12 authorized a $2.1 billion bond for various land and water quality programs.

  • $940 million of the bond money was granted to local agencies for local recreational, cultural, and natural areas.
  • $1.6 billion was used by the state "for recreational, cultural, and natural areas of statewide significance."[1]

From 1975-2000, California voters had approved about $1.9 billion of general obligation bonds for similar purposes. In June 1999, all but about $18 million of the bonds authorized by the previous bond acts had been spent or committed.[1]

Election results

Proposition 12
Approveda Yes 4,657,600 63.2%

Text of measure


The ballot title was:

Safe Neighborhood Parks, Clean Water, Clean Air, and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2000.
(The Villaraigosa-Keeley Act)


The summary of the ballot measure prepared by the California Attorney General read:

  • This act provides two billion one hundred million dollars ($2,100,000,000) to protect land around lakes, rivers, and streams and the coast to improve water quality and ensure clean drinking water; to protect forests and plant trees to improve air quality; to preserve open space and farmland threatened by unplanned development; to protect wildlife habitats; and to repair and improve the safety of state and neighborhood parks.
  • Appropriates money from the General Fund to pay off bonds.

Fiscal impact

See also: Fiscal impact statement

The California Legislative Analyst's Office provided an estimate of net state and local government fiscal impact for Proposition 12. That estimate was:

  • State cost of about $3.6 billion over 25 years to pay off both the principal ($2.1 billion) and interest ($1.5 billion) costs on the bonds. Payments of about $144 million per year.
  • Costs potentially in the tens of millions of dollars annually to state and local governments to operate property bought or improved with these bond funds.

Campaign spending

Financial supporters of Proposition 12 radically outspent opponents. $4,085,238 was spent in favor, while there was no opposition campaign.

Financial supporters included:

Path to the ballot

Proposition 12 was voted onto the ballot by the California State Legislature via Assembly Bill 18 of the 1999-2000 Regular Session (Chapter 461, Statutes of 1999) and Senate Bill 1147 of the 1999-2000 Regular Session (Chapter 638, Statutes of 1999).

Votes in legislature to refer to ballot
Chamber Ayes Noes
Assembly 61 15
Senate 31 3

See also

External links